News National Bali flights under cloud but Darwin clear

Bali flights under cloud but Darwin clear

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Flights to and from Darwin have resumed after they were grounded by an ash cloud from an Indonesian volcano, but doubt remains over flights to Bali.

Darwin was cut off to all air services on Saturday as ash plumes billowed from the Sangeang Api volcano off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. It erupted continuously after an initial blast on Friday afternoon.

The major plume affecting Australian aviation swept southeast over the west side of the Northern Territory and as far south as Alice Springs.

Cyndee Seals of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin said Australia was now clear but airlines were meeting to discuss an ash cloud near Bali.

“I can advise that the ash cloud across Australia is dissipating but there are still ash clouds southwest of the volcano and another to the east east-northeast from an earlier high eruption,” she said.

The southwesterly ash cloud was nearing Bali but its effects on flights to Denpasar were not yet clear, Ms Seals said.

“Right now, unless the winds change – and they are a little variable – it will take the ash south of Denpasar, away from Bali,” she said.

“The airlines are meeting about it.”

Qantas announced it had resumed its flights, while Virgin, Air Asia and Jetstar had also resumed operations, Darwin International Airport spokeswoman Virginia Sanders told AAP.

But she urged travellers to stay in touch with their airline for updates on flights as some changes might be made.

“Flights are coming back on line but there are some scheduled changes so people still need to check with the airline with regards to what’s happening with their particular flight,” she said.